Trying to keep up with Goldfrapp’s different attitudes and eras is a bit difficult sometimes. One day you are immersed in a futuristic rendition of the 1940s (Felt Mountain) and the next thing you know is that you somehow stumbled upon this mind blowing electronic and pop mixture that has awesome written all over it.
Chronologically speaking, this follows Black Cherry and to the casual listener it might not seem like a big change but there is a massive turn in direction here. From the glam rock inspired experiment that represented that album we now have a more pop driven electronic album that might seem like your everyday ordinary song collection, but before you know it will grow on you leaving the sensation that this music might be just enough to enable your mind to lift off.
Now that I think about it, maybe Let It Take You might not be just another song, it might be a big hint on this album’s true intentions, but instead of becoming a bizarre and abstract experience, Supernature never really departs from the general formula here. There are some moments though where I recognize some of the elements that a couple of years later would be the foundation for her next studio album, Seventh Tree.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why it is difficult to discern what is really going on during this album. If you happened to pay attention only to the easy and catchy electronic nature of the album you might have a hard time trying to figure out what the rest is about. I wouldn’t recommend trying to listen this to death until you finally “get it”, because in practice it works better if you let it get to you instead.
However what I like about this album is that you never get the feeling that Alison Goldfrapp is holding back something here. What you get here is the sensation that you’ve been given everything there is, and even you might feel that you’ve been given a little extra. And by being given everything I’m not just saying that my ears were blown away with electronic beats for an hour non-stop, I’m talking about the complete experience that Supernatural represents.
Just when you start thinking that Supernatural is just another British electronic pop album, it blows you away with its sudden change in direction, it transforms completely midway and it stops pretending to be the perfect ambient music for your fancy party, and it becomes a personal experience, a subtle and private reflective moment. The best part is that you never see it coming, and by the time you realize what is really happening it is already too late.
None of the above would be possible without something that has always been present in every Goldfrapp album to date, and that is the elegance and grandeur that is written all over it. I’ve always said that Goldfrapp is all about the glamour and the philosophy of doing music with a true artistic approach, and that is what I believe differentiates this from someone just being flamboyant. This is still electronic music, no matter how you look at it, but there’s something else that makes you believe that you’re really listening to something classy (because you actually are), something that belongs to another era, something that you won’t be afraid to admit in front of anyone, hell, I’m even writing about it to let everyone know that I like it! See what I did there?
I like to think that Felt Mountain is still my favorite Goldfrapp album, but I truly believe that Supernatural represents something different, and even though both albums are from the same artist, they are performed by different characters. For some reason I’m liking more this character lately though.